Outside Reading — Transponster edition

On Chandler Bing’s Job by Megan Garber

I’m not my cohort’s resident expert on the sitcom about a sextet of New Yorkers who will be there for one another when precipitations obeys the law gravity. So it with humility that I posit “The One with the Embryos” as one of the finest episodes of the series. It contains a perfectly rendered joke, with four seasons worth of set-up, in the stumper question that delivers a decisive loss in an interpersonal trivia contest. Writing for The Atlantic, inspired no doubt by renewed timeliness thanks to the smashing success of the recent Friends reunion special, Megan Garber uses that inspired punchline to go deep on the program’s general outlook on jobs and careers.

‘Breaking Point’: Restaurant Workers Push Back Amid Unemployment Benefit Crackdown by Nick Judin

Among many things broken in our media discourse is the default to letting the highest-ranking professionals in any field codify the conventional wisdom, and the very language used to discuss topics, without seeking the knowledge and input of other individuals who might have valuable insight. For weeks, the challenge low-paying business have faced in luring employees back post-pandemic has been framed as a “labor shortage,” with economists and grouchy bad bosses sputtering about laziness and other supposed moral shortcomings among a working class that isn’t all that eager for the “return to normal” of stagnant wages and exploitative cultures. Nick Judin engages in basic journalism due diligence so rare that it feels revolutionary: He talks to actual workers, endeavoring to understand their perspective. There’s no labor shortage. There is, however, a stubborn failure of employers to boost paychecks, sweeten perks, and improve working conditions. That’s how capitalism, the system all these businessmen claim to revere, is supposed to operate. This article is published by Mississippi Free Press.

Naomi Osaka and the Power of ‘Nope’ by Lindsay Crouse

Naomi Osaka’s expression of her own power, withdrawing from the French Open rather than accede to the mandate to participate in press conferences that caused her mental distress, is commendable. No other interpretation needs airing, no matter how many misogynists, bigots, and others who stew in their own hate bound in with their toxic opinions. Writing for The New York Times, Lindsay Crouse offers the appropriate admiration for Osaka and considered other young figures in the wide world of sports who have similarly bucked against unpleasant, unnecessary convention. The article largely sticks with sports, but the trend is broader than that. Millennials collectively decided to refuse to accept bullying under the guise of “paying your dues,” and Generation Z is supercharging that confident stance. That doesn’t make them snowflakes; that makes them stronger than the thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another generations that came before.

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